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Over to you

06 December 2004 by
Over to you

Do you agree with Signature Restaurants' chairman Luke Johnson that restaurant critics are alcoholic, corrupt snobs?
I think they're a necessarily evil - and, after all, we're always happy when the review is good. I think that it's when it's personal it becomes more of an issue, like when they start talking about the overweight waiter, etc.
Jonathan Raggett, managing director, Red Carnation Hotels
I think they're wonderful people that are welcome here any time. They do scare the pants off some restaurateurs and owners, but it is unnecessary. Yes, they have a lot of power, but you need intelligent and articulate people to successfully communicate your restaurant experience to the public.
Russell Norman, general manager, Zuma restaurant, London
It's a pretty crude and unimaginative caricature, and the comments don't lend much to the debate. I think most critics are aware of the weight of responsibility that goes with the job and appreciate how hard the restaurant trade can be. On the other hand, if a restaurant doesn't deliver, it's incumbent upon the critic to say so. Clearly, that's never going to be well received.
Simon Wright, restaurant consultant and writer

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